From the very beginning, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve has been about much more than luxury travel. For this reason, they designed the entire Grootbos experience around a new movement known as Progressive Tourism through the Grootbos Foundation. It is a story that deserves to be shared with the world.
In 2003 Grootbos Private Nature Reserve established their non-profit subsidiary, the Grootbos Foundation with its main focus being progressive tourism. Unemployment is an unfortunate social ill in South Africa and Grootbos wanted to address it within their immediate community.
What is progressive tourism you may wonder? Some may know it as sustainable or responsible tourism. Progressive tourism is a term Grootbos coined to explain a new way of living and to experience what is at the heart of the entire Grootbos experience. We all need to be more cognizant of our actions: keeping in mind that they should be benefiting someone else or having a positive impact on the environment.
Most of everything you consume or purchase at Grootbos is produced at or near Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. They are constantly seeking new ways to create sustainable livelihoods for the people who call this unique area home.
Yes, it is all about community upliftment and responsible eco-tourism. Therefore, the Grootbos Foundation consists of three main elements:
- Green Futures - focused on conservation, where horticulture and life skills are taught to young adults
- Siyakhula - small business support and development in the surrounding communities
- Football Foundation - educating the youth in Gansbaai through the avenue of sport, focusing on football and a number of other sporting codes
There is great synergy between the needs of Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and the Foundation. As mentioned, most products consumed and gifts available for purchase at the lodges are produced by the employees of the Foundation and support local small businesses. This helps generate a sustainable income for community businesses and provides jobs for many individuals from the local community.
There is even an opportunity for guests to plant a tree grown as part of the Foundation's horticulture and reforestation project.
By acting together, the Grootbos Foundation, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and you bring about genuine transformation by improving the lives of local communities and conserving one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world.
The Grootbos Foundation live by their belief: "Every action we take has a positive impact."